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Cliff Sims tells Stephen Colbert why Trump won't criticize or fire alleged leaker Kellyanne Conway

Stephen Colbert had President Trump's former director of message strategy Cliff Sims on Monday's Late Show to talk about his new book, Team of Vipers, and he started by asking "what makes the people around Donald Trump the most viperous, the most reptilian?" Sims said Trump was surrounded by people who "had their own best interests in mind," including himself at times. "So are you one of the vipers?" Colbert asked. "100 percent," Sims said. "So this is a confession as much as it is an accusation?" Colbert pressed. Sims said yes, "if I'm going to be honest about everybody there from the president to the staff and everybody else, I've got to be willing to be honest about myself, too."

"The president reportedly is 'hopping mad' about your book, and that he feels duped," Colbert said. Sims writing the book, after leaving the White House, was a "really cathartic experience," and he aims to inform not persuade. "Are you still on the Trump train?" Colbert asked, and Sims said he now has "the luxury" of only supporting the Trump actions he agrees with.

Sims told his story about catching Kellyanne Conway leaking to reporters. "Why won't he fire her?" Colbert asked. "Why won't he trash her publicly? It makes no sense to me. He'll attack anyone. Why not her?" "One of the things I try to do in this book is help people understand what makes Donald Trump tick," Sims said, and Trump knows that Conway "will go out there, on any show, and defend him. And like I said, that never goes out of style" with Trump. "So private loyalty doesn't matter but public loyalty on television is more important?" Colbert asked. "I think that there's no doubt that public loyalty to the president is of upmost importance to him," Sims said. Watch the entire interview below. Peter Weber